A report from the first day of the Hundred at Lord’s

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This is the first of two match reports from the inaugural season of the Hundred. Here’s the second one. King Cricket match reports focus on what it was like to be at the game – not the match itself.

Regular King Cricket contributor, Ged Ladd, writes…

Daisy and I resolved to bite the bullet and embrace The Hundred tournament. We arranged to go to the very first The Hundred day at Lord’s.

We were told that the pavilion dress code would be relaxed to “Members’ Friends” stand levels, so I went for the smart casual look depicted. I felt over-dressed. The only other person I saw dressed a bit like me was Roger Knight, who was the only person I recognised in the pavilion.

If the aim was to introduce a different cohort to the Lord’s pavilion, it sure was working. The place was awash with young families with kids. Great stuff.

The London Spirit women warmed up in front of us, looking suitably spirited.

Daisy especially liked her balcony view shot, so I have included it.

We moved round to The Warner Stand after the women’s match and took in the live entertainment atmosphere from there.

The men’s teams then warmed up in front of us, looking seriously pumped and ready to go. The atmosphere was electric…

…so electric that it started to rain, with some lightning and thunder thrown in.

The forecast had been for showers, but my weather app suggested that it would rain all afternoon and evening, which it did. I spotted a suitable point, during which the wet rain became drizzle for a while, so we escaped Lord’s and rescued my car, Dumbo, from the mean streets of St John’s Wood.

Daisy loved her half-day. She wants to go to The Hundred again.

Send your match reports to king@kingcricket.co.uk. We’re only interested in what it was like to be at the game, so if it’s a professional match, on no account mention the cricket itself. Equally, if it’s an amateur match, please go into excruciating detail.

8 comments

  1. That first picture of you should be used on all ‘The Hundred’ marketing material from now on.

  2. So, I expect there will be a wave of ‘so, was the Hundred a success?’ articles over the next 24/48 hours which will reach strong conclusions, but my initial feeling is that it’s hard to tell.

    Some jumbled thoughts:

    I don’t get the feeling that it won over that many people who were set against it from the start, so asking them is probably not a reliable guide to anything.

    It got wall-to-wall coverage on the BBC which described it as a success from before the first men’s game had been played, which may not be entirely divorced from the fact that the BBC had a lot of live coverage to promote.

    Fans of the women’s game will be excited that it’s had so much coverage, and it will have raised the profile of a lot of female players in particular.

    Liam Livingstone scoring runs is good, but it left me cold compared to when he does it for Lancashire or England.

    I paid more attention to the Royal London One-Day cup than I expected to.

    The Hundred really needs to sort out those on-screen graphics if it wants to make cricket ‘easier to understand’

    1. We’re getting less and less opinionated about it. We’re really down to just being glad that people can maybe possibly catch a bit of cricket on telly every now and again.

    2. The format seems to work fine. Why shouldn’t it? It is merely the T20 format with a few tweaks.

      Like KC, much will be forgiven if this genuinely brings new audiences and new participants to cricket. The double-header idea (piloted with IT20 finals more than 10 years ago) should help. Free to air TV should be an important, positive factor too. I’d love to see some viewing figures along with some context to understand what those figures mean, as I’m not really a “viewing-figuresista”.

      Some more tweaks might help. The tail-end of the double-headers were not exactly the family friendly events envisaged – they became late evening booze-fests. Possibly in part a symptom of our “coming out of lockdown” season but I would hope the ECB look at match timings and ground rules for next season too.

      Totally get APW’s point about franchise performances having less context to them than county/country performances.

      I would add to that my concerns about marginalisation of the counties and a nagging worry about the money. English cricket might have cannibalised one successful money-spinner, T20, for another, The Hundred, at enormous expense. If that turns out to be the case, the money pot available for development and participation will have shrunk massively, on the back of Covid plus capital spend on The Hundred with minimal or no net financial gains. Only time will tell on this point.

      If the net effect of all this is both financial and interest/participation gain, then the shenanigans involved in pushing the franchise format idea through the counties will be forgiven..

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